"The messages are sent straight to the subconscious, activating latent tendencies and enforcing the belief that we are inherently flawed. They say we're not sexy, thin, young, beautiful, or rich enough, and that to be happy, we must be different.
These messages ride on the top of glossy, photoshopped images. Pores are airbrushed, legs lengthened, waists reduced, and different parts of women combined into an unrealistic, exaggerated whole. These images, seen thousands of times a day, weave themselves into the recesses of our mind and shape our subtle thoughts, words, actions, habits, and beliefs about who and how we should be.
Yoga + Body Image
The practices of yoga can help us unwind unconscious beliefs and habits and resist the powerful forces of media imagery.
Yet, as yoga grows into a multi-billion dollar industry, it has adopted the same destructive marketing tactics—impossibly thin, provocative women and strong, powerful men are shown holding ultra-advanced postures. Sex sells, and so do acrobatics.
Today, yoga is equated with these images, selling everything from magazines, to classes, to products, to teachers. As a result, new and beginner yoga practitioners often feel intimidated. Teachers who have great yogic wisdom to share doubt their proficiency because they cannot hold the handstand in the middle of the room. Others, caught up in the body-hate paradigm themselves, use fitness, and the fear of fat, as classroom motivation.
While mastering a form may be a sign of excellence, when perfecting poses becomes our sole focus, it undermines the deeper teachings of practice, and it may also undermine our health."
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